[UPDATE (February 2013) – Adobe has just released a free software upgrade and everyone can now download Edge Animate 1.5 (still) for free! They've also now made available for all users a free preview version of Edge Reflow, their new responsive-web design tool.]
Perhaps the biggest news from Adobe’s Create the Web event earlier this week is how much they’re giving away their new mobile-ready web development software… The new Edge Tools & Services collection includes some great products for free download and use, including the final official release of Edge Animate 1.0 – the full and permanent version at no charge (regularly US$499) – for creating interactive and animated web content.
Edge Animate (formerly known as “Adobe Edge” during its long Preview period) is effectively Adobe’s “Flash Pro for the HTML5/CSS3 world” – this new application works similarly to how Flash Professional does for creating rich media – but instead of generating Flash, it outputs standards-based HTML that can be viewed in browsers all across the web, on desktops and laptops as well as mobile devices and tablets.
[UPDATE (April 24th) — Adobe now says, "we are however still considering other purchase options for Edge"...]
Adobe has two major new products in free public beta right now – Adobe Edge for developing HTML5 animations (like Flash Pro but outputs HTML5) and Adobe Muse which allows designers to create websites as easily as creating a layout for print. Adobe says interest in these betas has far exceeded their expectations.
Both tools will be shipping in their first official release in 2012. And while it’s been known for a while that Muse would be “subscription-only,” we now know too that Edge will likely follow the same path. Furthermore, neither will be included in the Creative Suite.
At a recent Adobe Analyst meeting during the question and answer session, it was revealed that Adobe is planning for both new design tools to be available only via subscription or through their optional “Creative Cloud” software rental offering – and neither will be a part of CS6 – in other words, they will only be sold separately.
Here it is at the 33-minute mark of the Q&A:
Adobe is dropping some hints about new and future creative tools coming on tablet devices and for HTML5 content creation. On a publicly-available conference call earlier this week, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen shared some guidance on the company’s upcoming product roadmap and what to expect…
With a shifting landscape that favors HTML5-based content and application delivery, we are doubling down in our investment in this area. CS5.5 delivered enhanced HTML5 capabilities. We recently previewed Adobe Edge, a new HTML5 web motion and interaction design tool, which allows web designers to create cutting-edge animations for their websites. Interest in this tool far exceeded our expectations.
We also just introduced the beta release of a new product code-named Muse, which allows designers to create and publish HTML-based websites without writing complex HTML code. And we are contributing new innovations to WebKit to allow for a more expressive Web. These initiatives show our commitment to help drive the evolution of browsers and be the leading tools provider for HTML5, and this is only the beginning.
So what does this mean in terms of the next release of Creative Suite? Will we see Adobe Muse and Edge – or other new HTML5 tools – as part of CS6?